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Public Defender’s Statement on the Developments in the Patriarchate

In recent days, some clergymen have stated via the media that they are aware of alleged sexual harassment and coercion committed by clergy. They also indicated that some of those actions might be committed against minors.

I would like to make it clear that the allegations contain signs of actions punishable by the Criminal Code of Georgia. Accordingly, I urge the law enforcement agencies to launch a probe into each similar allegation. I also urge anyone, who is aware of alleged criminal actions, to immediately report to the appropriate authorities.

I would like to note that the Public Defender's Office has already addressed the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia in writing and requested that they respond to the case.

I would like to publicly call on both the authors of the statements and those who have any information to contact the Public Defender's Office in order to allow us to gather complete information around the issue and verify it. Confidentiality will be guaranteed upon request.

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